EVEN before its players step back into the practice gyms, the PBA already has its next move planned out.
Commissioner Willie Marcial yesterday told Malaya-Business Insight he intends to write the IATF another letter requesting that PBA teams be allowed to conduct full contact team scrimmages by October.
“By the second o third week ng September susulat na ako,” Marcial said. “Sana payagan din tayo, pero lahat na iyan siguro depende kung nasaan na tayo dito sa (COVID-19) virus.
“Kung tumataas pa rin ang mga kaso nandiyan pa rin ang posibilidad na tumaas ulit ang quarantine level. Pero kung steady lang ang number, o mas maganda, bumaba malamang payagan tayo. Sana.”
Metro Manila, where most of the PBA venues and practice gyms are located, was among the areas in the country which eased back to the general community quarantine level the other day after two weeks in the more restrictive MECQ.
The lowering of the quarantine level meant PBA players can now proceed with their conditioning and workouts, which start on Tuesday.
The three teams under the San Miguel Corp. group, San Miguel Beer, Magnolia and Ginebra, have undergone the mandatory pre-practice testing at the SMC facilities while Alaska, Blackwater, Terrafirma (formerly Columbian), NLEX, NorthPort, Meralco, Rain or Shine, Phoenix Super LPG and TNT take their turn yesterday and today at the Makati Medical Center.
Players must test negative for COVID-19 before they can join the non-contact team workouts that will be done under strict health protocols laid out in the IATF-approved guidelines.
Actually, Marcial already has his new letter of request to the IATF ready since last month but was forced to defer sending it due to the delays brought about by the pandemic.
“Okay na rin, kasi na-refine natin iyung laman ng sulat, naidagdag ýung ibang (safety) protocols,” said Marcial, adding he now hopes the IATF would give its go-signal for the team scrimmages after about a month of conditioning.
“Nag-wo-workout naman ang mga iyan (players) sa bahay pero hinabaan natin ang workouts para kapag nagkaroon na ng scrimmages mababa posibilidad ng injuries,” offered Marcial.
“After that mga two hanggang three weeks para makuha nila game-shape.”
Marcial has previously said he wants the resumption of the Philippine Cup to start by mid-October for the lone tournament of the season to conclude by late January.